I have to admit that Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I love the lights, music, cards, ornaments – you name it I like it. I come from a family that loves tradition. My dad’s family has had a family reunion, the same weekend, every year for over 40 years. My mom’s family always gathers the weekend after Thanksgiving. These traditions are what has helped keep my extended family together over the years. We now watch our children do the same things that we did over 25 years ago.
What I remember most about Christmas is that my parents always instilled a sense of excitement. I think because of that I never noticed how much or how little we had. So much of what Robert and I do with our children today comes from what we experienced growing up. Our parents have also started traditions with the children that are really neat. My parents give the children an ornament every year and when we decorate the tree, it is a really big deal to pull out an ornament and see the children get excited to see if it is theirs and to find the perfect spot for it on the tree. Robert’s parents saved many of the ornaments that they had for him growing up and we put his toy soldiers and drums on our tree.
Our most special tradition is courtesy of Robert’s grandmother, Grandma Granger. She bought an angel for her tree years ago and on the box wrote “For Robert, when we cease to use it. First used on the Granger tree in 1983”. Our first married Christmas, the angel was the last thing to go on the tree and I took a picture of Robert placing it on the top. Every year since, our angel is the last thing to go on the tree and I take a picture of Robert and the children placing it at the top of the tree. This angel gives us the opportunity to remember Grandma Granger and to talk to the children about our special Christmas memories.
Our kids also each have their own nativity. We unpack them and they chose where they are going to set theirs up. We use this time to remind our children what we are really celebrating, the birth of Jesus.
Christmas morning the kids come downstairs and see that Santa has come to visit. As a child, Santa left mine and my brothers presents unwrapped in our spot and we have carried that on to our children. They each have a spot for their Santa presents. After enjoying Santa gifts, we sit down and pass out, one at a time, our gifts to each other. Santa also brings a family present, this is a gift for the whole family to enjoy. Usually not anything fancy but something we can all use together. After breakfast and car packing, we head up to Virginia to visit my parents.
This is a season of celebrating. I celebrate you, connecting with you, our Smarty Readers has been a highlight. I have learned so much from you and in turn had a great outlet from the mommy “stuff”. Ashley H. said it beautifully yesterday and I can only echo her sentiments. My prayer for you is that you will capture the spirit, wonderment and joy that this holiday brings. Many Blessings and Merry Christmas.